Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The ultimate two-for-one!

We just returned from 10 days in Cabo, and let us tell you - they are all about the "2-for-1" drink specials...or really 2-for-1 anything..We decided that our vacation was the ultimate 2-for-1 because we got two great trips out of one great vacation! The first half of the vacation was spent with Kyle's sister and brother-in-law, Heather and Adam. As a result of a booking snafu, they were offered an extra room at the resort they were staying at. They offered the room to us as a suggestion for our honeymoon, and we thought that was a great idea! Thus, the second half of the vacation, we spent enjoying our delayed honeymoon. In total, we spent 5 days with Heather and Adam, and 5 days by ourselves. Below is a photo journal of the vacation!

Thanks dad for dropped us off at the airport
(and Mary Ann for picking us up)!
Arriving in Cabo- way better than rainy Seattle!

View of the resort and ocean from our room!

The drinks were a little out of control big!

Happy we were are finally together on vacation!

Some VERY complicated fishing deal information...

But the boys still went fishing (while Heather and I went to the spa)!

They each caught a fish - success!
The waves on the beach were SO HUGE! And it was so windy!
You couldn't even swim in the ocean on this beach.

But it was so beautiful just to walk along!

Dinner at Medano Beach

Kyle ordered an entire snapper - and ate the whole thing!

A really tasty meal (they custom made dishes for Heather and I!)

Roasting marshmallows on the beach!

Perfect evening on the beach :)

We ended every night by playing Nerts. By the end of the
trip, everyone had won once!

Kyle spend the first day in the sun like this...

Which meant he spend the rest of the trip in the shade :(

Our "spot" - perfect distance between the beach and the quiet pool.

Every morning I would head down to the pool early to get some quiet
time in...so lovely!

Water taxi to Medano Beach

The beach was so colorful!

Glass bottom boat tour!

Cabo Arch

Horseback riding - we were the only two people on the tour!

Our favorite part of the trip :)
We ended up having lots of time to chat...


And just hang out! Praise the Lord for vacations!
Ready for the Fiesta at our resort!
Live entertainment!

Fun night :)

Last night dinner at The Office

Final morning in Cabo (with the best vanilla chai in the WORLD!)

Adios Cabo!

Giving it grace: On this trip, I was continually struck by the beauty of God's creation. The sound of the crushing waves, the birds, the views of the beaches...it was all so utterly amazing when you really stop to think about it! The fact that God created all that, and everyone (regardless of who or what they believe) gets to enjoy it! 
I was also struck by how much fun Kyle and I had just hanging out...since the minute we got engaged, up until my graduation a few weeks ago, life has been one giant to-do list (which is mostly my doing)...wedding plans, moving plans, life plans, financial plans, relationship plans, graduation plans...it never seemed to end. While in Cabo, our biggest planning occurred at Happy Hour when we had to decide between Pina Coladas or Miama Vices! As always with me, it's a little hard for me to "let go" enough to just relax and enjoy the moment, which is why I know Kyle is a gift from God to refine me, because Kyle helps me do just that. We're very thankful for the opportunity to set the busyness of life aside and just hang out, and feel very refreshed!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Gonzaga Graduation Weekend

This past weekend we made the 10 hour round-trip trek over to Spokane for my graduation ceremonies at Gonzaga. In the Fall of 2009, I began what would be a long road to getting my Master's in Communication and Leadership degree from the Gonzaga School of Professional Studies. The program was two years of content-based classes, and then nine months of thesis writing.

This moment was bitter-sweet - I am so (SO) glad to be finished, but working towards this degree has been such a large part of my life the past two and half years. Also, so much has happened since I first started the program - I've changed jobs (three times), tried to keep up with friends, broke my hand, got heavily involved in my church, took up running (ran a 10K!), broke my foot, tried to keep up with family, traveled for friends' weddings, met the man I would marry/got engaged/planned a wedding, and moved twice. Most recenetly, I spent the last nine months going back and forth with two professors (both with doctorate degrees, one being the head of my program!) to complete my thesis that is now in the process of being printed for the Gonzaga library and loaded into ProQwest (an academic search engine) for other student's to use and cite in their studies. While the sacrifices were countless (time, social life, emotions, cost), walking across that stage to the cheers of the most important people in my life and knowing that I did it - I stuck it out and didn't quit - was completely, utterly, undeniably worth it. I also learned some stuff along the way, too :)

With Kyle - thank you for pushing me to finish this degree!

My family

My other family :)

The two main men in my life!

With Dr. Caputo, head of my program, and my thesis adviser

Dr. Crandall, thesis director

The Radfords were in town celebration Mark's accomplishments, 
so we all got together for a late night celebration.
These are all the "cousins" (some by law, I think?) on the couch!

With my dad, who helped me literally every 
step of the way by editing almost every single 
paper I wrote!

Giving it grace: Where do I start? Putting yourself out there in a program like this is really hard, plain and simple. Some of the other students were much older than me, and had accomplished so much in their lives! There were many, many times when I felt totally inadequate to even be learning alongside these people. Thankfully, my dad and my professors thought otherwise and were very encouraging! What's also encouraging is that God was there all along, sustaining me, directing me, and securing His plans for me. Even on the nights I sobbed because school was "too hard", work was "too hard", my friends "didn't understand" and I couldn't fathom another day like the last, God was there, knowing my pain, providing my comfort, and helping me tackle another day....and another day...and another day...

So what's next? OUR HONEYMOON! We opted to take a short honeymoon directly following the wedding because classes started back up and I couldn't be away that long. I'm glad we waited, because doing it this way is much less stressful. It's nice to be able to leave for your (real) honeymoon and not be coming off wedding planning and wedding day exhaustion! Pics to come when we return...